Constructing a Story from A to Z – Y is for Yachts

It was with this letter that I nearly flung ALPHABLOCK across the room. Y is for Yachts? Really? Not only was this annoying in terms of my story here, but the first time I went through this book with my son I thought, When is he ever going to see a yacht in his life? What kind of family does this author think he is writing to? In the end, I decided to be optimistic – maybe exposing my son to yachts at such a young age will encourage him to work toward owning one of his own one day!

As for where these yachts could be found in my carnival… well…

I grabbed Dani, ran past the carousel, the tiny yachts controlled by remote steering wheels, and past the line for the train.

Here’s our story (*under construction*) so far:

I saw an apple to my left and I wondered if Snow White could taste the danger in her fateful bite. The balloons that surrounded the entrance and the table of the carnival did nothing to relieve my feelings of other-worldliness. I carried my tray of cookies to the PTA’s donor table and tried to escape before Mrs. Jameson could spot me.

“No bye-bye dog!” my daughter cried.

“Dog is an elephant, baby,” I said, unable to ignore this teachable moment.Dani was only two years old and still had issues with the animal kingdom – frogs were fish, birds were “eh-planes,” cats were bears, and her beloved Dumbo stuffed animal was, of course, a dog. She let go of my hand and ran, screaming, toward the “garden of fears” assembled by the high school theater group. I felt the heartbeat hammer of panic as she disappeared through crowds of distracted teens. I plowed through after her feeling the cold shock of an ice cream shake bursting out of the its flimsy carnival cup, showering its owner and me. At once I was a frantic juggler palming the straw and lid, paper cup, gobs of chilly chocolate goo, and insincere apologies to the poor girl who I just trashed. A kite came out of the sky onto my head. I smelled the lemonade before it hit me. The moon-pie was the final straw.

I burst free of the crowd – a manic mother bird whose chick had fallen from her nest. I stretched out my mother’s intuition in all directions, like a mystical octopus with tentacles of Dani-sense probing the crowd-sea around me. I reached a clearing , saw a volunteer with an orange vest and a pencil in hand kneeling down beside a sobbing Dani. As I looked at her Snow White shirt with the evil queen clutching the bewitched apple, I wondered why I thought that was an appropriate outfit for my child. I rushed to her side, gathered her in an enormous embrace covering her with the rainbow of rubbish that covered my clothing. I felt icy scissors of rejection when she pulled away crying, “No mommy.” Then, pulling away again, she said, “Dog on train.”

The volunteer bent over helping me keep a hold on her, embarrassingly exposing his underwear and more butt crack than I was comfortable being exposed to. I heard a strange violin tune blare from the carousel to the right and caught a glimpse of the train just beyond it. In the front car was Alexander, my neighbor’s kid, always trapping Dani’s toys in his web of mischievous torture. I knew an x-ray vision of the scene would expose Dani’s Dumbo in the seat next to him. I grabbed Dani, ran past the carousel, the tiny yachts controlled by remote steering wheels, and past the line for the train.

If you are new to this blog, or finding this post disjointed from the rest of the challenge I have taken on this month, you may be (understandably) curious about what the heck I am doing here. The explanation of the challenge and the prompt I am using can be found in my theme reveal post. Check it out, and follow the links in that post to visit some other fascinating blogs that have taken on this month’s a to z challenge!


I welcome all kinds of constructive critique! Please keep in mind this is a first draft, so I’m looking for input as I will be jumping into edits and rewrites as soon as the month is through. If you want to wait until the end of the month to see the whole story before critiquing, that’s fine too.

Two questions for you today!

  1. Carnival experts – are those little boats actually yachts, or are they some other kind of boat? I have vague memories of them, but can’t place the actual type of boat in my mind’s eye.
  2. “Past” versus “passed – did I use the right one? I know one of my writing group buddies explained this to me in the past, but I completely forgot and I feel like I made the wrong decision in this sentence!

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